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S1 Ignition Switch Hot - rebuild?


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The ignition switch on my S1 has been getting very hot (100C+ with an infrared probe) but not the wire itself. It looks like the contact connected to the thick red power going in, feeding everything, is the culprit.  Additionally, occasionally it won't start because the contacts inside the switch probably aren't doing their job, and I have to jiggle the key a bit to make contact with the starter circuit.

Has anyone tried to open up and service the starter switch internals? I've seen it done on old american cars, but this one has little metal tabs that are bent in on the bakelight switchbody to hold it all together. I'm concerned that those tabs will break, not bend if I force them back.  Failing that, i guess I'm ordering a replacement switch -- I recall that something like a TR6's is a suitable match if I can't find one for the S1.

Advice?

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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If you decide you need a switch, S&J sells the electrical part. I have one waiting to be installed. 

Jim McLeskey Richmond, VA USA

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  • 9 months later...

Follow up to this... I ordered one from SJ and it doesn't fit.  Apparently I have an unusual -- but not unheard of -- smaller version of the ignition switch, often found on Triumphs or MG's.

 

Still haven't found out which one.

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Turns out that I have the same problem. I had purchased the SJ switch but when I opened the column last week, my switch was the smaller one and the SJ switch did not fit!

thanks for the PM as well. 

Jim

Jim McLeskey Richmond, VA USA

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The early S1 has a different switch to the later type. The early ones are no longer available to the best of my knowledge. I had the same problem and had to replace the section of the column which contains the switch so that I could use the later type switch. My original switch was held on with two small Philips screws which is what yours looks like. I got the replacement steering column part from Lotus Bits and now I can use the later type switch if I ever need to buy a new one. I also had to replace the lock barrel from my original so I could use my key p.i.t.a.

The S1 ignition switch is a known problem and can cause cut-outs and starting problems.

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Thanks Paul. Yours might be the best long term solution.

I pulled my switch off the car and when I tested it on the bench, it was fine, but I don't really trust it.

There was some info floating around the forum that the smaller switch came from a TR6 or and MGB. Did you ever check that?

The east coast distribution office for Moss Motors USA is about 45 minutes from me.  I've thought about removing the switch again and taking it down there to look for a match, but I've been busy mucking around with the timing belt - the new tensioner piston I bought had a bigger diameter than the original! Had to have the cylinder bored out!

Cheers!

Jim

 

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Jim McLeskey Richmond, VA USA

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